Huizhou West Lake originated from low-lying land scoured by water from Hengcha, Tianluo, Shuilian, Bangshan, etc. The riverbed after rechanneling of Xizhijiang River turned to be the lake. It is encircled by mountains in the west and the south and is close to Dongjiang River in the north. The scenic spot area is 3.2 square kilometers, including 1.68 square kilometers of water surface. The lake has different depths, about 1.5 meters in general and 3-4 meters in some places.
Huizhou West Lake is composed of five lakes, six bridges, seven mountains and sixteen landscapes.
Five lakes: Pinghu Lake, Fenghu Lake, Nanhu Lake, Linghu Lake and Ehu Lake;
Six bridges: Gongbei Bridge, Xixin Bridge, Mingsheng Bridge, Yuantong Bridge, Yingxian Bridge, Yanxia Bridge;
Sixteen landscapes: Tower inverted reflection in lake water, Enjoying the Moon on Sudi Bridge, Clouds over Xiangling, Spring rain on Bangling, Scenery of Liudan Pavilion in Diancui Island, Enjoying rainy scenery in Huazhou, Heroic kapok trees in spring, Lipu Fengqing Scenery, Summer resort of Xixin, Su Dongpo's footprint in Gushan Mountain, Fish viewing at the Flower Pond, Sight-seeing on Feiling, Autumnal scenery of West Lake, Noble spirit of Fengshan, Landscape of Nanyuan Park, Overlooking from Zhundi Penthouse. These scenic spots have interesting subjects which are close to real life and are recognized by nonlocal people and domestic tourists.
Huizhou West Lake Scenic Area is under perfect natural layout, characterized in unique mountains and waters, tranquil and circuitous paths and diversified floating islands. Antique airy pavilions and towers appear indistinctly in luxuriantly green woods, the landscape is god-given. For comparison with Hangzhou West Lake, Wu Qian, Huizhou Magistrate in early period of Emperor Yongzheng in Qing Dynasty, composed a poem titled "In praise of West Lake". The main meaning of the poem is as follows: "the West Lake is compared to Xishi, Hangzhou West Lake is under heavy makeup while Huizhou West Lake is under light makeup, Huizhou West Lake has the purity of Zhuluo Village, while Hangzhou West Lake connotes singing and dancing for pleasing the Emperor". Therefore Hangzhou West Lake is known as "Xishi in the imperial palace of Wu Kingdom", while Huizhou West Lake is known as "Xishi in Zhuluo Village". In December 1993, Huizhou West Lake Scenic Area entered into the list of Top Six National Scenic Spots with Qualified Environmental Health.
Ticket: The main entrance ticket of Huizhou West Lake Scenic Area has been canceled since January 1, 2005. Currently in the Scenic Area, the major spots requiring entrance tickets include: 5 yuan/per capita for Tower Hill, 5 yuan/per capita for Gushan Hill, 5 yuan/per capita for Diancui Island-Fanghua Island. The through ticket for the three spots is 10 yuan/per capita.
The main gate of Huizhou West Lake is located on Huancheng West Road..
Located in Xishan Hill of the West Lake, also known as jade tower, it is the most ancient building by the Lake. It was originally built in Tang Dynasty to commemorate Sizhou Mahatma Sangha. When the litterateur Su Shi in Northern Song Dynasty lived in exile in Huizhou, he called it Mahatma Tower. He composed the poem as "when the moon climbs up between 7:00-9:00pm, the tower inverted reflection in lake water". "Tower inverted reflection in lake water" is thus honored as one of the landscapes of Huizhou West Lake. The tower has 7 storeys outside and 13 storeys inside, in wood and brick structure. The tower was destroyed in the 43th year of Jia Jing Period of Ming Dynasty (1564), was altered to be a pavilion at the beginning of Wanli Period of the Ming Dynasty and was rebuilt to be a tower on the 46th year of Wanli of the Ming Dynasty (1618). At the beginning of Kuang-hsu Period, a corner of tower top was struck by lightning, a banyan grew beside, as a poem of Qiu Fengjia goes: "Pedestrians wish to ask Zhaoyun's tomb, so as to oversee the banyan on the tower top." Since the foundation of PRC, it was renovated with additional building of stepping ladders. When you climb up to the tower top, you can have a full view of Huizhou.
Located on Fenghu Lake of the West Lake, it was thus named as it was built in the center of the Lake. On 61st year of Kangxi Period of the Qing Dynasty (1722), it was repaired under the initiative of the Satrap Wu Qian and donations from the officials of Huizhou. The hexagon pavilion is under stone-wood structure, covered with green tiles, with a height of 3.5 meters. It can be viewed from the pavilion that Sudi Bridge is across the lake, jade tower stands erect on the top of Xishan Hill. The surrounding landscape is unique with glistening light of waves. The scholar Liao Mingqiu in the Qing Dynasty praised with the following poem: "The grand landscape looks like God's work, the landscape of lake is viewed wonderfully from the surrounding places, one can expand what he/she sees and hears, he/she is suddenly blended in the picture."
Located at the vicinity of Mingyue Bay of the West Lake, it is connected with the Long Bridge. During the Zhengde Period of the Ming Dynasty(1506-1521), when Gan Gongliang assumed the office of Huizhou Prefecture Chief, Luoxia Pavilion was built on the island, with flowers in the surrounding, thus was known as "flower pier", which still exist in the early period of the Qing Dynasty. It was rebuilt in the 6th year of Kuang-hsu Period of the Qing Dynasty (1880), with additional building of Jingfu Loft on the former site, where celebrities such as Jiang Fengchen gathered here to compose poems, still called it Former Site of Luoxia. The landscape that "flowers blossom on the lake and water flows in front of the island" attracted many scholars and litterateurs to make commendations. As the poem of Liang Dingfen in the Qing Dynasty goes: "the colorful flower pier attracts butterflies in pairs to play here." The flowers blossom in spring, whose fragrance spreads the West Lake and makes people relaxed and happy. Therefore, later generations famed it as Baihua Island. After being repeatedly repaired, all the landscape of the lake can be viewed from the windows of Luoxia Pavilion.
Located in Pinghu Lake of the West Lake, it can be reached from Sudi Bridge via Jiuqu Bridge. During the Zhiping Period of Northern Song Dynasty (1064-1067), Guyu Pavilion was built on the island, which was built to be Diancui Pavilion in the Ming Dynasty, also known as Wind Pavilion. Nanshan Mountain is green in the surrounding, as "The Moon shines upon Santan" in Hangzhou West Lake. As the poem of Sun Shaoer in the Ming Dynasty goes: "West Lake and Xishi mates each other, with the unique scenery of Diancui Island on the Lake." Later "Liudan Pavilion" was built on the island in 1913 to commemorate the sacrificed martyrs of "Battle of Ma'an" in Xinhai Revolution, with red walls and green tiles, erect pillars, verdant ancient trees in the surrounding, green rippling lake, therefore was known as "Scenery of Liudan Pavilion in Diancui Island", as one of the landscapes of the West Lake, currently as the cultural artifacts exhibition hall. Pipa Island is located in the west of the pavilion. There are two bridges leading to Gushan Hill and Fanghua Island.